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This episode in the Democracy Unchained conversation series faces the topic of America’s original sin of slavery—and a discussion about reparations for Black Americans as an important part of rebuilding democracy in the U.S.

From Bakari Kitwana: “Amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd protests, more and more Americans are opening their eyes to racial disparities in policing, incarceration, unemployment, education, health, housing, and more. But none of these are resolved if the U.S. imagines it will ever be a truly inclusive democracy without paying reparations to address the compounded debt this country owes Black Americans that began with the 250 years of slavery, which set in motion today’s racial and economic inequalities.”

The episode, “Original Sin and Reparations,” features conversations with Bakari Kitwana, Author, Cultural Critic & Activist;  Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign; Amilcar Shabazz, Chair, W.E.B. Du Bois Department Afro-American Studies, University of Mass. Amherst; Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, Executive Director, Restitution Study Group; Betty Lyons, President and Executive Director, American Indian Law Alliance; and Dr. Ron Daniels (Convener, National African American Reparations Commission).


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.